WT earns ITA national sportsmanship award

June 9, 2010

SKILLMAN, N.J. - The Vanderbilt women’s team has been honored as May's recipient of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Team Sportsmanship Award, the ITA announced Wednesday. The Commodore tennis program joins the Trinity men’s tennis program as May’s National Team Sportsmanship Award winners.

The ITA National Team Sportsmanship Award is a monthly award that goes to one men's and one women's team that has exemplified outstanding sportsmanship, character and ethical conduct in the true spirit of competition and collegiate tennis. The winners are selected by the ITA Ethics and Infractions Committee from nominations received from all ITA member institutions (NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior/Community Colleges). This monthly award began in 2003. In addition to the obvious reasons, sportsmanship and fair play are considered important in college tennis due to the fact that players make their own line calls during a match.

“This award is such a great honor,” said Head Coach Geoff Macdonald. “We talk a lot about handling adversity with class, about respecting the game of tennis and being very tough competitors who are scrupulously fair. It's such a superb game for building character and doing things the right way. My team is class personified, and I'm honored to coach them.”

Vanderbilt’s tennis program is consistently one of the best in the nation on the court and in the classroom. The team sportsmanship honor for the Commodores comes two weeks after senior Catherine Newman was selected as the National ITA/Arthur Ashe Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship. Newman was selected as the Ohio Valley Region's recipient before beating out the other 12 national semifinalists to win the national award.

Trinity University is a NCAA Division III school, coached by Russell McMindes, and is located in San Antonio, Texas.  

"At Trinity, dating back to well before I was a player for Butch Newman, our philosophies have always been about personal growth and development as a priority over on-court success," said Trinity Head Coach Russell McMindes.  "I believed in that, and made it my goal to carry that philosophy forward during my tenure as head coach.  We don't do it to win awards, we do it to hopefully impact our players in a positive way and prepare them for the journey of life."  

As the governing body of collegiate tennis, the ITA promotes both the athletic and academic achievements of the collegiate tennis community. The ITA, which is compromised of nearly 1,700 men's and women's varsity coaches representing over 1,200 institutions, administers numerous regional and national championships and the Campbell/ITA College Tennis Rankings for over 15,000 college varsity student-athletes at the NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior College levels. The ITA also has a comprehensive awards program for players and coaches to honor excellence in academics, leadership and sportsmanship.



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